Coronavirus Pandemic

Nearly half of UAE companies say salaries steady since Covid-19 outbreak

Staff Reporter/Dubai
Filed on November 16, 2020


The labour and remuneration market is not certainly good but it is not that gloomy as some predict.

The UAE employers are primarily concerned with retaining talent while salaries across the UAE are expected to remain under significant pressure in 2021, according to the latest report by the world’s largest specialised staffing firm Robert Half.

The labour and remuneration market is not certainly good but it is not that gloomy as some predict.

Nearly half – 47 per cent – of senior managers in the UAE say that salaries have held steady since Covid-19 began while three-in-10 or 26 per cent of respondent actually noted an increase in base compensation for key roles spanning accounting and finance, technology and human resources/administration, Robert Half said in its latest report released on Monday.

Even during periods of rising unemployment, Robert Half’s said a majority of companies, 73 per cent, are offering remuneration packages that meet or exceed pre-pandemic numbers.

It said bonuses are still being paid this year. A little over half the managers surveyed (52 per cent) are making payments that either meet or exceed their pre-Covid-19 equivalents, whilst 38 per cent are offering less, year-on-year.

"Employees are a company’s most valuable asset for navigating both short-term disruption and achieving long-term growth,” said Gareth El Mettouri, Associate Director, Robert Half Middle East.

“Workers have been stretched to the limit during the pandemic, often putting in longer hours, taking on additional responsibilities, acquiring new skills and using recent months to reassess their career priorities. Professionals are much savvier about the market value of their skills and current salary trends than before. Employers should research compensation trends regularly, be prepared to move quickly and negotiate effectively in order to retain key employees or hire promising talent,” he added.

Robert Half said Covid-19 is re-shaping the employee benefits landscape as many managers at international level surveyed have incorporated new worker benefits since the start of the pandemic, including at-home office equipment allowances, mental health resources or assistance and wellness programmes.

Remote and flexible-working are growing in demand

Flexible working has been an important consideration for a growing number of employees for some time, which has now been further amplified by Covid-19. Maintaining an appropriate work-life balance has become an important priority as the pandemic continues to evolve, with 71 per cent of managers committed to offering remote work for the foreseeable future.

Flexitime policies – i.e. allowing employees to structure their workday or week as they please – are in place amongst 61 per cent of companies, along with working a compressed week (52 per cent) and permanent part-time arrangements (51 per cent) also favoured by the majority of survey respondents.

El Mettouri adds: "Salary definitely remains an important consideration. But nonmonetary benefits such as enhanced wellness resources, remote- and flexible-working options and achieving a better work-life balance are becoming increasingly important. With current economic volatility likely to continue for some time yet, even the prospect of a salary freeze over coming months can be made more palatable if managers can ensure that nonmonetary benefits are sufficiently tailored to be supportive and beneficial for employees.”

ERROR: Macro /ads/dfp-ad-article-new is missing!
MORE FROM Coronavirus Pandemic
MORE FROM Khaleej Times
CurrentRequestUnmodified: /coronavirus-pandemic/nearly-half-of-uae-companies-say-salaries-steady-since-covid-19-outbreak macro_action: article, macro_profile: ,1913,1000 macro_adspot:
KT App Download
khaleejtimes app

All new KT app
is available
for download:

khaleejtimes - android khaleejtimes - ios khaleejtimes - HUAWEI AppGallery